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Downstate Republican says he removed far-right militia decal from his truck — but Democrats and Kinzinger call for probe

State Rep. Chris Miller denied any involvement with the extremist organization called the Three Percenters after his pick-up truck was photographed with the sticker in its back window in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

U.S. Rep Mary Miller and her husband, state Rep. Chris Miller, center, pose next to their pick-up truck in a campaign photo.
U.S. Rep Mary Miller and her husband, state Rep. Chris Miller, center, pose next to their pick-up truck in a campaign photo.
From Facebook.

SPRINGFIELD — The decal shows a simple Roman numeral three surrounded by stars, but it’s tied to a far-right militia group — and a downstate Republican state legislator is being asked to explain what it was doing in the window of his pick-up truck near the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

State Rep. Chris Miller denied any involvement with the extremist organization called the Three Percenters after his truck was photographed with the sticker in its back window that day in the Washington, D.C.

“I have never been a member of the 3 percenters. My son received the sticker that was on my truck from a family friend who said that it represented patriotism and love of country,” Miller said in a statement. “I have since removed the sticker.”

Miller, 67, a cattle farmer from Oakland in southern Illinois, is married to U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, a freshman Republican who was quoted last month saying that “Hitler was right on one thing” at a pro-Donald Trump rally.

The symbol on the truck represents the Three Percenters, a “far-right, anti-government extremist group who are part of the militia movement” that opposes the authority of the federal government, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The group’s name and symbol originate from their mistaken belief that only 3% of Americans fought against the British in the Revolutionary War and that their struggle against the federal government is akin to these original patriots.

Being strong supporters of former President Donald Trump, the group’s activity has been focused on “other perceived foes, including leftists/antifa, Muslims and immigrants” in recent years rather than the Federal government, according to the ADL.

Several people with connections to Three Percenter and other similar militia groups were arrested for their participation in the insurrection.

The Millers were in Washington that day.

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller was recorded telling a crowd of supporters at a pro-Donald Trump rally that “Hitler was right on one thing — that whoever has the youth has the future.” She later apologized for the remark.

During a Facebook live broadcast during the same rally, state Rep. Chris Miller said that supporters of Trump were “engaged in a great cultural war to see which worldview will survive. Whether we will remain a free people under free market capitalism or whether they will put us under the tyranny of socialism and communism and dangerous Democrat terrorists.”

The truck with the Three Percenter symbol and plates of an Illinois elected official was first spotted by an online group, the Sedition Hunters, trying to identify those who participated in the insurrection.

A photograph of the truck with the decal appeared on Twitter.

The rear window of the pick-up truck was not the only place the Three Percenters logo showed up behind the state representative.

Speaking at a Reopen Illinois rally outside the Illinois State Capitol last May, state Rep. Chris Miller dubbed Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker a “domestic enemy.”

Behind the state legislator was a sign declaring the need for “dangerous freedom” and not “peaceful tyranny”. On it was the same roman numeral insignia of the Three Percenters without the surrounding stars.

The Millers’ legislative and congressional districts in central and southern Illinois have been a hotbed of extremist violence – having 54 “incidents of hate, extremism, antisemitism, and terrorism in and just outside [Rep. Mary Miller’s district] from 2019-20”, according to the ADL.

In 2018 several members of the “White Rabbit Three Percent Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters Militia” were arrested in a plot to bomb a women’s clinic performing abortions in downtown Champaign, an area just outside Rep. Mary Miller’s congressional district.

In his statement, Rep. Chris Miller defended the Three Percenters organization while distancing himself from the group.

“The original group, which has disbanded, was not a violent anti-government group. They were not involved in the Jan. 6th riots. They have issued a statement distancing themselves from the extremists who have copied their name.”

But state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League pushed back, saying Miller should “know better.”

“This is absolutely unacceptable for an average person,” Morgan wrote in a tweet. “This is garbage and disqualifying for a member of the IL General Assembly, Chris Miller.”

Following the revelation of the decal, the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association President Kristina Zahorik submitted a request for the Legislative Inspector General to investigate whether Rep. Chris Miller had been involved in the Jan. 6 coup attempt.

State Rep. Chris Miller, second from left, and his wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Miller; in black, facing camera; at state Sen. Darren Bailey’s gubernatorial campaign kick-off in Effingham on Monday.
State Rep. Chris Miller, second from left, and his wife, U.S. Rep. Mary Miller; in black, facing camera; at state Sen. Darren Bailey’s gubernatorial campaign kick-off in Effingham on Monday.
Andrew Sullender/Sun-Times file

“Miller’s attendance at the rally that turned into a mob and insurrection of our nation’s Capital is troubling, and to date many unanswered questions remain about his subsequent actions and whereabouts that day,” the letter read. “The Legislative Inspector General, at a minimum, should investigate to what extent Miller played a role in the events of January 6, 2021.”

Zahorik said that Miller’s conduct had at the least “constituted the type of conduct that is unbecoming of a legislator.”

One of the 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R- Channahon, joined Democrats’ calls for investigation.

“Rep. Miller put a militia sticker on his car and is suspected to have been at the insurrection,” wrote Kinzinger. “Our party needs to handle this and I support further investigation.”

Rep. Chris Miller’s statement did not offer an apology, instead saying that his “intention was not to hurt or offend anyone but simply to express what I thought was a statement of patriotism.”